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New golf rules in 2020


The golf season has just started, and in case you didn’t already know, there is a new set of rules being introduced to new golf rules in 2020. This is glorious news, and not only for golf professionals but also for golfers. Amateur golfers around the world like you and me.
The Rules of Golf have long been a hotly debated topic, so hopefully a more streamlined approach will put an end to the all-too-regular debates about the rules of the course. 
The new and “modernized” Rules of Golf came into effect on January 1, 2020, with the primary aim  of increasing the speed of play. While this is a good thing and another step forward for the game, there is also no doubt that it will bring some confusion at the fan and club level in the first few months of introduction.

The good news is that we have selected the 20 most important changes that will affect amateur golfers the most in this article, so you have a quick summary of the most important things and do not have to read the entire manual. 

We will fix your relief area for dropping a ball

Let’s hope that once the adaptation period is over, we will really see an expected reduction in playing time.

1. Rules for taking Drops or Relief

Relief area-New golf rules in 2020

We will fix your relief area for dropping a ball size. One or two clubs use the longest club in your bag, besides your putter. This is usually the driver. 

So, every golfer who takes relief has to use his Driver (or the longest club in his bag that isn’t a putter, just in case he doesn’t have a driver) to measure the length of two clubs. This makes things universally much fairer and removes any sign of doubt about where we should take the side relief.

Drop procedure-New golf rules in 2020

This change has been one of the most talked about and shared on social networks. We must now make a penalty drop from knee height and must land touching no part of your body or equipment.

This will cause some discussion during the course and is arguably the biggest change in 2020. But put, golfers can no longer fall from shoulder height. Now it should be from knee height. 

Hopefully, this increases consistency among golfers when falling for relief. 

The rule for placing the ball after two attempts if the ball approaches the hole or returns to the danger area remains the same, you must manually place it on the ground where the ball was first bounced on the second attempt of drop. 

Lost ball search time-New golf rules in 2020

We lose the ball if we do not find it within three minutes.

I especially like this one. At long last, the authorities have ended the most ambiguous golf rule of all. Instead of having five minutes of search time for the ball, golfers now only have three. 

Let’s be honest: if you can’t find your ball in three minutes, you’re never going to find it in five. No more waiting for that loving friend to find balls that we all have. 

Ball lost or out of bounds: an alternative to hitting and distance

It can enforce a local rule that allows golfers to drop the ball close to where it was lost or out of bounds, even in the closest area of the fairway, with a two-stroke penalty.

significant decision-New golf rules in 2020

It is no longer necessary to return to the tee to throw another ball if we forgot to hit a provisional. Drop where you think your ball has left the field and keep playing. 

It is worth adding that we do not intend this for professional or elite level competitions. 

2. Rules on the putting green

There is no penalty for moving the ball on the green.

There is no penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball marker while on the putting green.

Not much more to say, a significant decision.

Replace ball in motion on putting green

After your ball has been lifted and replaced, you must replace it in its original place, even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no simple reason.

If your ball accidentally moves on the putting green, you must replace it at its original spot before continuing to play. Once you’ve done it, you can keep hitting without being penalized as you would have in the past.

Green damage repair

Repair of almost any damage allowed on the golf course (including shoe marks and animal damage).

Golfers are free to repair shoe marks, animal damage and any other damage to the green. 

Touching the line of play on a putting green

There is no penalty for touching your line of scrimmage on the green as long as doing so does not improve. It’s a bit confusing how this rule is combined with the previous one. If you repair any damage to your line of putt, make sure you are not improving the area in which you can hit more than necessary.  

Putting the flagstick in the hole

You play the ball and so, there is no penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or elsewhere) hits the flag unattended and enters the hole.

Another of the new rules that has attracted the most attention. This will also help to speed up the game a bit obvious. 

Caddy picking up the ball on the green

Your caddy may lift and replace your ball on the putting green without your specific authorization to do so.

This applies more to the professional game than the amateur game, but those of you who are lucky enough to enjoy the joys of a caddy, please keep this in mind.

3. Rules on the General Game

Standard for deciding why a ball was moved

A player causing the ball to move will only be penalized if it is virtually certain (at least 95% probability) that the person caused the ball to move. Otherwise, it will be assumed that natural forces caused it.

Be honest to comply with this rule. If we move the ball, we must acknowledge it, take the penalty stroke and continue. But if it really wasn’t us, you can return the ball to where it was and there will be no penalty. 

Remember: golf is a sport of honor and it frowns cheating upon. 

Ball in motion accidentally deflected

If a ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you or your team, there will be no penalty and it will play the ball from where it comes to rest.

The same rule also applies if you or someone on your team accidentally hits a ball while searching, even when it is at rest. 

If you’re looking for a ball in tall grass and accidentally kick it, you just have to put it back where you think it was, including how deep it was. It is not worth leaving her better than she was before accidentally hitting her. 

Relief for a recessed ball-New golf rules in 2020

Relief allowed without penalty for a ball embedded anywhere on the field (except in the sand). 

Accidental double impact-New golf rules in 2020

If your club accidentally hits the ball more than once during a stroke, there will be no penalty and your ball will be played where it comes to rest.

In the strictest sense of this rule, we remember that it refers to an “accidental” double hit. If we are skilled enough to make several blows in the air with the ball, it would not be valid. Bad news for freestyle lovers. 

Fast pace of play-New golf rules in 2020

We recommend it that from now on golfers play “ready golf” and make each stroke in only 40 seconds.

We remember that the term “ready golf” means that the player ready to hit will play the ball and not the one who is far from the hole, as has been done so far. 

This should speed up the pace of play. 

New “maximum score” game format

A new “maximum score” format of play is recognized in stroke play, in which we limit your score for a hole to a certain number to improve the pace of play.

You can set a maximum number of strokes per hole so that if you go for your shot number 9 you can lift your ball and move to the next hole.  

4. Rules in Bunkers

Unplayable ball in bunker

Relief from a bunker for a ball not playable by two penalty strokes.

If you consider that they cannot play a shot in a bunker, you can pick up your ball and drop it out of the bunker for two penalty strokes and proceed with your round.

Relaxed rules for touching sand or loose impediments in the bunker

You are now prohibited from touching the sand (1) with your hand or club to test the condition of the bunker, (2) with the club in the area just behind or in front of the ball, or (3) when making a practice swing or the backswing for your hit.

Put, now if you drop your club in the sand or lean on it while another player hits, we will not penalize you. 

5. Rules for a damaged Ball

Substitution of a cut or cracked ball with another ball

You may substitute another ball if your ball in play in a hole has been cut or cracked while playing that hole.

I will penalize golfers for hitting a tree and having to wait until the end of a hole to replace what could be a damaged ball. You may substitute for another ball if your ball in play has been cut or cracked while playing that hole. 

However, it may not change a ball because it is dirty or scratched. 

6. Rules in Penalty Areas

Touching the impediments or the ground in the penalty area

There is no longer a penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground or supporting your club in a penalty area.

Unlike bunkers, you can now support your stick behind the ball in a danger area when shooting. Conditions of your shot.


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